Embassy of the Philippines > Embassy of the Philippines DC >> News



18 April 2018

Philippine Secretary of Budget and ManagementBenjamin E. Diokno outlines the Duterte Administration’s socio-economic priorities and policies during The Asia Foundation – US Philippines Society Roundtable Discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington, D.C. on 18 April 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Dr. Benjamin E. Diokno, Philippine Secretary of Budget and Management, was the featured speaker in The Asia Foundation – US Philippines Society Roundtable Discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington, D.C. on 18 April 2018.

Providing the audience with more details on the implementation of the Duterte Administration’s socio-economic agenda and the path to becoming a middle-income economy, Secretary Diokno outlined the government’s priorities and policies as reflected in the National Budget.

He identified the priority accorded by the Philippine Government to physical infrastructure and human capital development.

"By the time we step down in 2022, we shall have ushered in the golden age of infrastructure,” Secretary Diokno said, emphasizing the expected benefits of the Build Build Build program for enhanced productivity and international competitiveness. The program will include 75 big ticket projects involving roads & bridges, transportation, flood management, water supply & irrigation, and other public infrastructure projects.

“We plan to spend between $160 to $180 billion dollars between 2017 and 2022,” the Secretary added. He also stated that the government is expecting economic growth to outpace the acceleration of debt accumulation in assuring the audience that debt-to-GDP growth ratio would be manageable.

In addition to infrastructure, Secretary Diokno said that the government is prioritizing human capital development. He noted increased budgetary allocations for the conditional transfer program, national health insurance, universal access to tertiary education, and the full implementation of K-12.

“We have a very young population with a median age of twenty three years old. In an aging world, that is a very formidable national asset,” Secretary Diokno said in reemphasizing the importance of education, training and capacity building.

At the end of his presentation, he shared the vision that, by 2022, the administration would leave behind a modern Philippines, with first world infrastructure, a competent and trained workforce, more decent jobs and higher wages, and an open and effective governance system.

The presentation was followed by a wide-ranging and substantive discussion ranging from the possible challenges to sustained growth, initiatives in government procurement, Marawi rehabilitation, Boracay recovery, educational programs, and environmental protection.

According to US-Philippines Society President Ambassador (ret) John F. Maisto, "Secretary Diokno's presentation on the Duterte Administration's budget and policy priorities drew a diverse Washington audience interested in gaining a fuller understanding of opportunities for increased bilateral trade and investment as the Philippine economy continues to demonstrate impressive growth."

Ms. Anna Bantug-Herrera, associate director of The Asia Foundation’s Washington DC office said, “We were pleased to host Secretary Diokno today and to convene a discussion about the Philippines’ budget priorities. The Asia Foundation, having maintained a country office in the Philippines since 1954, looks forward to continuing to contribute to the equitable growth and sustainable development of the country.”

Secretary Diokno is heading the Philippine delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., USA. ###

18 April 2018

Members of the Filipino-American community, businesses, and academe attended The Asia Foundation – US Philippines Society Roundtable Discussion featuring Philippine Secretary of Budget and Management Benjamin E. Diokno heldat the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington, D.C. on 18 April 2018.